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Christmas markets in snowy Austria
Christmas markets are seriously fabulous occasions…especially if you’re of a romantic bent.

The sights and sounds of this most festive of events just can’t be beaten. And they’re a lovely way to get into the Christmas spirit. Of course, the two countries where such markets have become something of an art form are Austria and Germany.

If you’re tempted to think they’re a modern creation you may be interested to know records show the first Christmas market in one Austrian town dates back to 1298! The venue for what is probably the world’s most famous is the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Love Hearts & Glühwein

If Austrians know how to celebrate the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas then at CLC Alpine Centre you know you won’t miss out. The resort is less than an hour’s drive from Salzburg where you’re guaranteed to experience one of the country’s finest Christmas markets.

You will probably first savour the scent of glühwein or punch, which is heated red wine with a specially added spice. The smell alone will put you in the Christmas mood. Toasted almonds, hot roasted chestnuts and freshly baked apples mean you won’t be leaving on an empty stomach.

And given that we’re talking about Austria, then special Christmas long sausages – bockwurst and bratwurst – are on offer wherever you go. With hot mustard they’re a real treat!

Iced Messages of Love & Romance

Another Austrian and German speciality are gingerbread love hearts, usually inscribed in icing with romantic tidings and known as lebkuchenherzen. You can of course, buy one with the traditional “Ich liebe dich” (I love you) on it.

But whoever said Austrians and Germans aren’t as lovey-dovey as the rest of us? If you want to go the whole hog, you can opt for “Meiner Kuschelmaus” which means “My snuggle-mouse!”

The one thing which signifies Christmas to most of us more than anything else – preferably as long as you have an open fire to go back to – is snow. Let’s face it, if there’s no snow in an Austrian mountain resort at Christmas you’re probably in the wrong country!

Winter Sports and Après-Ski

If skiing at Christmas is your thing the CLC Alpine Centre gives you access to more than 200km of slopes catering for all abilities, including a World Cup run. They also offer the chance to participate in every conceivable winter sport, from skiing and ice skating to tobogganing and even winter paragliding.

And after a day spent sliding, gliding (or tumbling) down snow-covered peaks where better to partake of the winter sports world’s other tradition, après-ski, than an Austrian alpine hotel?

If you’ve never spent Christmas away from home, but you’re contemplating it for the first time then we promise you, Christmas at CLC World’s Alpine Centre is the place to spend it and a Christmas market in Austria means you’ll never, ever forget it!